Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Category: Articles (page 1 of 60)

Old School Thinking

You’re not old, just maturing like a fine wine.

We all do it, no matter our age. “Because it’s always been done that way.” How much sense does that make? Say it aloud. Would such a declaration inspire confidence in your team? It is tempting; humans are creatures of habit. Do you have a morning ritual? How about a specific way you tie your shoes? It’s very easy to switch from active thinkers to passive participants in our own lives.

Good thing this has nothing to do with our work. What was that? We get into habits there too? Impossible, we’ve always done it this way and it has worke…oh boy, you got me! Is there refuge from a life of pre-set habits?

Stop everything. Breathe, but differently than normal. Place your hand over your abdomen and feel it rise and fall with slow rhythm. In…and out. In…hold…and out. No chest breathing; keep your shoulders in a relaxed position.

Now, were you focused? In the moment? Out of a habitual stupor? Wonderful, now it gets hard.

This happens every day, in all areas of work. And some may be sapping your success.

It’s time to look at everything through the senses of a baby. Imagine how they perceive the world…no preconceived notions, no judgment, just wondrous absorption and processing. The first time they toss something and it falls down…remember, they weren’t sure where it would go…up? To the side? Hover in place? (We all know the answer…mom or dad picks it up, of course!)

Whatever you have done in the past, reassess to see if it truly makes sense in achieving your goals. This may involve member communication, marketing strategies, or workplace organization. Nothing is out of bounds, including how you evaluate…that may be tainted as well!

Remember, your business (be it credit union or otherwise) and your life are active experiences…why be a passenger?

The Difference Between Succeeding and Trying

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Tony Robbins event.  If your mental picture is a large gathering of people looking to become more positive through “ra ra” activities, then you’re half right.

It is an enormous group of committed individuals. At a typical event, there are over 4,000 people in attendance. Over the course of 4 days, you participate in ways only understood after doing them, and leave a changed person.

It’s not motivational speaking, it’s “change your state to change yourself.”

Do You Want Or Need?

One of the great take-home messages I grasped was this: If you want something, you might eventually make it happen, if convenient.  If you need something, you will do anything and everything in your power to make it happen.

To quote River Tam, “No power in the ‘verse can stop me.” An example which resonated with me was this: How often do you hear about people seeking weight loss? “I’ve just got to lose a few more pounds.”

We’re going to get dark for a moment, not Reaver dark, but Sopranos dark. If I told you that you need to lose 10 pounds by tomorrow, what would you do? Sure, it’s not preferable, at all, but you could slice off a leg and achieve the goal.

Achieving your goals should not be about causing yourself irreparable damage, but the idea is potent.  When there’s a need, there is a way, even if it is extreme.

Goals At Your Credit Union

How do you approach goals in your credit union (or personal life)?  Are they wants or needs? A want can be put aside as more important things arise. A want does not create a sense of certainty within you. A want is just that, something that would be nice to have.

Look at your goals as needs. Become absolutely certain they will be achieved. Set a timeframe within which they will be done. Take action NOW, even if it is a small step.

Remember, a need is like air. You can’t do without. It will happen, you already know.

It’s just time to show everyone else.

Image modified from amazing series/film Firefly/Serenity.

It’s Not You. It’s My Line Width.

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Far be it for me to dictate your relationship with your favorite word processor. Go on, keep your margins at the safe 1 inch.

It’s not as if you’re putting text there anyway. Leave line spacing at double. Since you always seem to need the room.

Ignore the footer field, like you always do! Content at the bottom has feelings, too!

Reading Without Tiring

Well, that got out of hand. On the upside, when was the last time page formatting related to relationships?

Woman Reading on Phone at Coffee Shop

Have you ever read content (online or print) and felt tired by the end? It’s because you need to start exercising. Exercising your use of ideal line widths.

The premise of reading, from a biological perspective, is fascinating. Our brains see each character as a picture, which it associates with those surrounding it (left to right or right to left, depending on your heritage), then interprets that as a word/number/sentence. Incredible!

I don’t need to tell you how quickly this process occurs, since you’re reading without thinking about the shape of every letter.

Doing so is tiring. Your eyes and brain need a break, even if it is shorter than your last “vacation day” (you call that a day off?). The pauses come as you change lines. Think of the last exhausting thing you read. I’d bet the lines were quite long.

Holding Open Book

Researchers at the Baymard Institute learned our focus is best when you write within an ideal line width. The golden range? Between 50-75 characters, including spaces, on each line. They found your “subconscious is energized when jumping to the next line.”

In plain English: You get bored, tired, and otherwise distracted if you cannot be entertained by the mundane process of…WOW, A NEW LINE!

Line Width For Entertainment & All Possible Devices

Man on Tablet with Coffee

With readers viewing your content on any number of screen shapes and sizes, adopting a design which adapts is key. If you find the width cannot be reduced, there is another option: Line spacing.

Remember in school how you double-spaced that paper to hit the 2-page requirement? Turns out, you were right all along. This blog uses approximately a 1.5 line spacing setting to enhance readability coupled with a large font.

It’s your writing. Get it read! Pride aside, ask your marketing team how well a campaign runs if what you produce isn’t perused?

Note: Reading from credituniongeek.com, line width is less than 80 characters.

For further reference: http://baymard.com/blog/line-length-readability

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